…and all we need is a fixed gear bike

#Instagram Because I’ve been too lazy to charge my camera batteries 0:-)

I’m going to pull the infrequently used hipster card out of my wallet and throw it down on the table. I was into mason jars before this whole craze blew up. I swear. Which means when people are throwing away their mason jars tricked out in lace designs and gold matte spray paint—geesh, blasphemy, why don’t we just start burning hotel Bibles or something—I’ll still be prominently featuring my non-bastardized version in the kitchen cabinet.

During the summer of 2011, when I worked at the Goodwill, someone brought in a bunch of mason jars, lids still intact, which I scooped up the moment they went on sale. They’re great glasses to have: sturdy, thick lipped to make Beyonce jealous, and rustic. They come in all shapes and sizes and willingly accept smoothies, leftovers, salads, spa water, and cocktails to-go. But never wine. Never, ever, ever wine. Whip out the good glasses for that! Though, you might be able to make an exception for sangria….

Lately I’ve been moving away from the  liquid-only mind set, and thus, the rumors are true, I have been spotted heating up ball jars of left over Thai noodles and nourishing quinoa meals. For class on Thursday, which I scampered into at the last minute, fending off a rough night of Le Vielle de Ferme Rose (13.5%) and a strong Vodka  Redbull, I sheepishly took sips of water from my big girl mason jar and preoccupied my woozy mind by tending to a regular size jar, which I filled with layers of tomatoes. Stacked in alternating colors, I salvaged these beauties from the reduced produce bin at City Market. Drizzled in a drop of olive oil and a generous helping of balsamic vinegar, I rotated the jar the between my hands to ensure even coverage. After a good two hours of soaking, I broke into them during the afternoon shift at my workstudy job. By then the world didn’t seem like such a bright, cruel place.

Kale Chips: Shockingly Delish

I’ve tackled spinach for my salads, but when it comes to greens I generally have to take them either juiced, smoothied, or in some other indistinguishable form. I blame my grandmother who had a penchant for cooking spinach until it was goop—bleck! Plus, buying kale in stores can be overwhelming , because it comes in a pretty big bunch. I knew I wouldn’t get through all of it juicing, so I pulled up my healthy girl skivvies and branched out.

When it comes to most foods, the darker it is the more nutritious. Kale is one of those super greens that intimidates me, but I think after nearly a year and half of eating well, I might as well start forming a friendship with it. To make kale exciting I needed to keep the cooked version out of sight and mind and be inspired by, dare I say, junk food.

I’m not lying; kale chips are a-flippin-mazing! I’d seen them before in the co-op, but had written them off as a hippy-dippy counterpart that would never live up to the full amazingness of Ruffles or Cape Cod chips, like how the Newman’s version of peanut butter cups are inferior to Reese’s.

I was feeling bored in the morning, so I said “why not?!” I followed this easy recipe and 30 minutes later I was delighted by how crunchy, salty, though still pretty healthy these little green chips were. They are also super filling in a way potato chips are not. Note: prep time is much faster than 25 minutes!

It is a bit of a mind game at the beginning. Green is not a color you’re used to seeing as a chip, so you kind of have to go “it’s just a potato chip, it’s just a potato chip.” Since I used ½ the bunch of kale, these only cost $1.50 to make and I got to choose how much salt I wanted, and I really did go on the light side!

Needless to say, they didn’t survive the afternoon between me and Chris.

Jocellyn Seal of Approval!

Even the baked variety retains a lot of the benefits (source)

Massaging the olive oil covered kale was a lot of fun!

So crunchy! They sound just like a chip

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Sweet Treats

Today we’re going to talk about some of my new favorite snacks. I’ve been adventurous lately and trying new things at the grocery store, which is keeping me from the dreaded food rut.  I needed something new to add to my arsenal of snacks to get me through today, and these Mediterranean staples have been helping me get by. Please welcome raisin, fig, prune, and date from the dried fruit family.

Dried fruits have been around since the BC era, and people love eating them because they are easy to transport, don’t drip/rot/bruise/, and have amazing health benefits. Despite their sweetness, studies have shown dried fruits don’t have a negative effect on people’s blood sugar levels, because the amount of fiber in each delicious bite slows down the amount the sugar being released. (Source) Plus, fiber keeps you fuller longer, which means less mindless snacking throughout the afternoon. We’ve all heard the seductive call of the vending machine, right?And for someone like me (who has embarrassing oral hygiene) the sticky properties of dried fruits aren’t actually going to give you cavities. In fact, dried fruits can actually increase the health of your mouth. Recent studies show that “Bioactive compounds found in raisins and dried plums appear to have antimicrobial properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease.” Looks like an extra handful for me! (Source)

 

My favorites are raisins. They aren’t as sexy as pomegranates or blueberries, but raisins are actually antioxidant rich and have a long shelf life. They are extremely economical and are a great addition to cereals, homemade GORP, oatmeal, and granola. They are known to lower bad cholesterol and your chance of getting heart disease. I’m personally a fan of the Golden Raisin because they are a bit juicier.

I’ve also been test driving (test chewing?) some dates. I’ve used them before in cooking—they are one of the few ingredients needed to make a mean raw chocolate mousse—but hadn’t eaten them much on their own. Just three gives me the sugar fix I need with healthy doses of B-Vitamins and iron. Apparently, they are great for inebriated folks, so smuggle some into your purse or backpack before your night out.

But before you go shopping crazy, there are some caveats to the dried food world. Fruits like cranberries, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, and even mangoes can be found in a delicious, dried variety. However, companies generally add sweeteners as well. Even more tasty is papaya and pineapples, but those are almost always candied. These are totally okay every now and then, but aren’t healthy in the long run. Instead just buy these fruits in their natural form, which are just as amazing.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Food Diary # 2

Food Diary # 2

I haven’t forgotten about you guys! I admit I didn’t write down what I ate yesterday, but I did make that delicious Shrimp & Garlic meal from last week. It was great the second time around as well.

Breakfast

2 eggs

Slice of Udi’s toast

The best gluten free bread ever!

One little cup of Greek yogurt with raspberries.

I’m now onto my third type of Greek Yogurt. They were out of the large tub of plain Chobani at both stores. I don’t think the stuff I have is actually Greek Yogurt, because it doesn’t have nearly as much protein as the other brands. I also accidentally bought maple flavored, not plain, so the sugar content is a little higher than I would like. Oh well, it’s delicious and a tub won’t kill me, but it is a little unsettling that the shelves might start packing “fake” Greek Yogurt. Ya ‘gotta be cognoscente of labels!

 

Snack

Mango, peach, and banana smoothie

Usually I make green smoothies with spinach, but I was having a salad today. I make my smoothies simple, with water, and I feel so nourished the moment they hit my tummy.

Sun-Maid Raisins

I love how the front says something like: the only ingredients are grapes and sun. And then the back says “mechanically steamed grapes.” Haha. Nonetheless they are still delish.

 

Lunch

Salad: spinach, black beans, onions, mandarin oranges, mushroom, basic dressing of 1 part balsamic vinegar/ 1 part olive oil

During the summer I love spinach, but as the seasons change I find myself less in love with them, which is totally normal. It means it’s time to switch back to green smoothies. A healthy tip: if you are buying canned beans make sure you rinse them or else they are packed with salt and sugar. However, I do usually just plop a whole can in if I’m making chili, but salad is lighter.

 

The trustworthy banana!

 

Lunch Break @ Work

This cute little snack size bean & cheese burrito.

It kind of had a pickle taste. I love pickles, but not in my burritos!

Cascadian Farms Harvest Spice Bar

 

Dinner @ Home

Mongolian Beef & Broccoli

This came from a Cooking Light cookbook. Prep time was really short and it only took 7 minutes to cook everything. It was a really tasty and simple meal and is definitely going in the recipe book!

 

Compared to day one, this is a more realistic idea of what I eat on a day to day basis. Because I snack so often I generally have a large breakfast and lighter lunch. Dinner is usually the middle-size meal. I know some people don’t like to eat late, but since I get home around 10 just  eating at 7 isn’t always ideal. Most nights I come home hungry, but sometimes I’m fine with some fruit and tea. Just listen to yourself. If you find you’re someone that is waking up starving then don’t be afraid to eat more at night. The reason a lot of people warn against it is because people tend to have naughty snacks while watching late night TV.